Broken Souls by Laurie Olerich

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Broken Souls by Laurie Olerich
Series: Primani, #4
Publication Date: September 5, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

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synopsis

Stalked by evil…

Psychic Rori Austin’s life is over. She just doesn’t know it yet. Plagued by recurring nightmares and terrifying fugues, she’s hanging on by a thread. When she blacks out and wakes up in 1969, she knows she’s out of control. Broke and alone in the city that never sleeps, she’s desperate to find someone who can hold back the darkness in her mind. When gorgeous Declan shows up out of nowhere, she’s thrilled until he starts asking questions she has no intention of answering.

Haunted by guilt…

Primani Declan Manning is a ruthless killer and a renowned healer. Demons fear him. Humans love him. Life is good. The last thing he needs is a human woman. After saving Rori’s life, he walks away but can’t forget the fear in her exotic eyes. They haunt him, dredging up memories better left buried deep. Intrigued by her secrets, he uncovers the horrifying truth. She’s been marked for Hell, and her time is up. He’ll risk his own immortality to save her so ul…if they can find the demon in time.

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excerpt

Glancing at her watch, Rori picked up her pace. She never had enough time. In her universe, it ran in fast-forward. It didn’t matter how much time she gave herself to get ready, she was always late. And of course, she was out of bus money so she was walking – no, make that running – the ten blocks to the flower shop where she worked. The owner, Angela Donatucci, was a total bi-otch about time. She was opening, so technically Angela wouldn’t know if she was on time or not… but she had a pissy habit of showing up out of the blue. “Spot checks”, she called it. She’d been busted three times in the last month. One more time, and she was jobless. And jobless meant homeless soooo… Crap! Dodging around a kid on a scooter, she hung a fast right and cut through the alley behind the Downward Dog Chinese slop shop. A couple of delivery trucks were pulled up to the back door. No problem. She’d just squeeze through. With her mind on the time, she didn’t see the backup lights until it was too late.

A starburst exploded and then… nothing but darkness. Excited voices babbled nearby, but they drifted on the wind. Sirens warbled in the distance, the sound fuzzy and faint.

“Hey! Are you all right?” a man’s voice snapped next to her ear.

Yes, yes, I’m fine! She tried to speak, but her mouth wasn’t working. No sounds came out. This was so not good.

“Holy shit, Ramirez, you killed her!”

What? No way! I can’t be dead! She struggled to move, to show them she wasn’t dead, to sit up, something, anything, but she was frozen inside her uncooperative body. A wave of dizziness rolled in slow motion through her brain, spreading from head to toe. She was too weak to twitch. She strained to lift her hand, but vicious pain stabbed into her belly. Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? Didn’t she moan? She could’ve sworn she’d moaned out loud. If ever there was a time to moan, this was definitely it. No one responded, so maybe she hadn’t. Darkness pressed in, her inner vision tunneling to a single spear of bright light. Seriously? Damn… I am dying. Well, this sucks.

I should’ve seen this coming.

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about author

laurieolerichHi! I’m Laurie Olerich and writing is my passion. I love to create guilty pleasures full of exciting locations, rollercoaster action, strong, quirky heroines, and steaming hot heroes who’ll raise the temperature in any room you’re in! Paranormal romance? Check! Urban fantasy? Check! Romantic suspense? Check! My Primani series combines the best of the three. When I’m not plotting, writing, or fantasizing about my next hero, I’m planning parties, traveling, and spending lazy nights with my son, my Dal pals, and my friends. If you’d like to get to know me better and keep up with my works in progress, look me up on the Internet. I’d love to hear from you!

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Email

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The Watcher by Lisa Voisin


Genre: Paranormal Romance The Wtacher

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her. Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings–soft and silent like snow–and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them–but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.
~Excerpt~

Michael leaned against a nearby rock, still watching me. With the orange-cast light from the street lamp playing off his skin, shadowing the muscles of his shoulders and arms, and the flickering of golden light his halo cast around him, he looked positively heroic, like a statue of an ancient god.

“Where to now?” I asked, approaching him.

The wind had swept his hair into a tangle of curls splayed in every direction, forming a dark, shadowy crown of their own. I reached over to smooth it, as if doing so was the most natural thing in the world, and he brushed his hand up my spine. Even through my jacket, a burning heat coursed through me. Touching the back of my head, he found my braid and pulled it out. He twisted it between his fingers, examining it, then looked up at me, his gaze open, unguarded, his pupils as wide and black as the night sky. A flush warmed the back of my neck and I stood there mesmerized by him, unable to look away.

Arcing his other arm around me, he pulled me toward him and whispered, “I shouldn’t,” against the side of my face, as though it were a confession. Then, his lips cool and salty from the sea air, he kissed me with such tenderness it made my chest ache.

But I didn’t need tenderness. I needed him. Since the last time we’d kissed, I’d been so careful around him, trying not to cross the invisible line that would either damn him or scare him away. I couldn’t be careful anymore. Gripping the front of his shirt, I pulled him closer, and he locked his arms around me like I’d always wanted him to, like maybe he’d never let me go. Sitting on the rock, he gathered me into him, sliding me onto his lap. My thighs straddled his hips and he let out the softest of moans, his lips grazing my throat, the side of my neck, the line of my jaw, before returning to mine.

With a sharp inhale, he tensed and stopped kissing me. His eyes flashed a warning look—full of fear, as though he’d gone somewhere fathomless inside himself that he’d sworn he’d never go. Standing, he guided me off his lap. When he spoke, his voice took on a deep timbre.

“We’re not alone.”

Buy Links:  Amazon  Amazon.CA  Indie Bound  Kobo   Indigo
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~About the Author~

A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

A self-proclaimed coffee lover, Lisa can usually be found writing in a local café. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!

Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.

Author Links:  Twitter  Facebook  Website   Blog  Goodreads
~Giveaway~

Lisa is giving away a $10 Amazon GC during her tour.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.

Stronger by Sarah Greyson

Stronger

The Unit Series

Book Two

Sarah Greyson

Stronger Banner 851 x 315

Genre: Military Erotic Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Sarah G. Greyson LLC

Date of Publication: 9-26-14

ISBN: 978-0-9904123-5-9

ASIN: B00MVGCOMC

Number of pages: 288

Word Count: 67148

Cover Artist: Cover Me Darling

Book Description: st

They always wanted to fix him. Didn’t they realize there was no fixing his kind of broke?

Haunted by the loss of his beloved fiancée a year and a half ago at the hands of a terrorist cell, ex-Green Beret Rob Fabik doesn’t know how to let go. The sounds and sights of her death replay in his mind, and he tortures himself with the guilt he feels over not being able to save her life, distracting himself with alcohol and women.

Attending Harvard University, Lola Sardeson is a down-to-earth, rich girl who is tired of living under her father’s thumb. One night out with friends quickly turns into a nightmare as she is kidnapped from a busy Boston nightclub. Her nightmare intensifies as she learns that the Ortiz Cartel sells young, innocent girls into the sex-slave trade.

The Unit’s mission is to rescue Lola from the nefarious clutches of the Ortiz Cartel. From the instant Rob sees Lola, she touches something deep inside him, drawing out his protective nature. These feelings only serve to intensify the guilt he feels over losing his dead fiancée.

Forced by circumstance under the same roof, Lola inspires Rob to grow stronger. Can he suppress his feelings for Lola, or will guilt consume him alive? Can he forgive himself for not saving his fiancée? Can Rob save Lola and protect her from the greedy hands of the Ortiz Cartel?

Book trailer: http://youtu.be/C6dMea1q7zY

Available at Amazon

Stringer Teasers 2 Lola 1

Rob Broke 2

Stronger Teaser

About the Author: gjfj

Sarah Greyson is an Amazon Best Selling author. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two children, and four spoiled animals. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a concentration in Professional Writing and her Master’s Degree in Education

When she is not writing or spending time with her family, she loves reading sizzling romantic suspense novels that make her blush. She loves a glass of pinot grigio, back-yard barbecues with friends and family, and helping her kids with their homework (in that order).

 

Her interests span all genres: from Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to Slave by Shari Hayes to The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV. Sarah’s favorite genres are contemporary romantic suspense and erotic suspense; the types of novels she crafts. While the concepts are familiar and comfortable, she brings her own unique story and personality to everything she writes. She loves the feeling of crafting a spicy, action-packed novel. Writing is her passion. She wants to leave her readers breathless after experiencing the intense ride that is her novel.

Website: https://www.sarahgreyson.com

Blog: www.blog.sarahgreyson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Greyson/724202254267061

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sarah_G_Greyson

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00L99CNY2

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111179255301244655648/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8186443.Sarah_Greyson

The Bird of Prey by Daniell-Claude NGontang MBA

 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
Title: The Bird of Prey SagaSeries: Contains all 4 Semya Slotin Mystery Books

Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

Published: September 25th, 2014

Word Count: 219,000

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romantic Thriller

Content Warning: Mature content and minor violence

Age Recommendation: 18+

Synopsis:
A dead world famous supermodel.

A contract killer in love with her best friend.

An organised crime family looking for revenge.

A boyfriend with a mysterious legacy.

French sleuth Sémya Slotin is officially back on the case. The break is over.

“I’m Semya Slotin, yes this Slotin. I love wine, vodka, absinthe, my younger brother Aaron and my best friend Polliannah, in no particular order. When Josh Heinz and I are not too busy fighting or tearing each other clothes off, I solve mysteries. And I’m really good. I’m really good at a lot of things and people usually don’t see me coming… but here I am and I’m not going anywhere.”

It all started with a simple case…

Book One: Bird of Prey

Who killed the infamous supermodel Johanna Cartier?

After spending three years away from sleuthing, Sémya Slotin is thrown back in the business when she found her body. With the help of her best friend Polliannah Koch, DCI Ally Gibbons and the mysterious but extremely sexy Josh Heinz, she vows to see this through.

Book Two: The Plot Thickens

What happened while Semya Slotin and Josh Heinz were busy solving Johanna Cartier’s murder in Bird of Prey?

When Polliannah met John Allen, she thought that she had finally found her Prince Charming. When John set his sights on Polliannah, he knew that he had a job to do and that the beautiful Miss Guryev should only be a means to an end. Then they fell in love. Now he and his Russian Princess had to leave London for their safety. But it may already be too late…

“I’m Polliannah Koch Guryev, yes I’m part of the infamous Guryev family but you can call me Polli or Mrs Allen. I love my parents, some of my brothers, high-end shopping, Russian vodka and last but not least my worst half and partner in crime Sémya Slotin. When I’m not managing our wine store in Chelsea or committing some kind felony with Sémya in the name of the God of Sleuth, I dream of Prince Charming. I’ve kissed enough frogs to give up on love but somehow it doesn’t seem to want to give up on me. How many times do I need to get hurt before it does? But still, here I go again…maybe this time it would be the last.”

Book Three: Polliannah Got Married!

The truth this time, and nothing but the truth…

Polliannah is in trouble and her boyfriend is dead. Nothing’s prepared Sémya, Detective Extraordinaire, for what she finds in Toronto. Polliannah is a widow and her late husband John Allen was a hit man for the powerful Dovos family. What did they want from her? Why is this happening to them? Josh Heinz knows more than he lets on, but he’s not telling her anything. Old conspiracies and secrets resurface putting them all in peril. Sémya’s worst fears about her relationship with Josh and his past are confirmed causing a rift between that may never heal. Sémya and Polliannah’s world is falling apart. Will they be able to come out of this stronger?

Book Four: Vincent Mallory Edgerton

Every love story has a beginning.

From the moment their gazes locked, Sémya and Vincent sealed their fate.

Sémya Slotin had been coasting through life solving one mystery after another. While investigating a friend’s disappearance in Hawaii, she met Josh Heinz. Her mind kept telling her to stay away from the handsome stranger but he awakened something in her and she was unable to resist him. Vincent Mallory Edgerton had always been an efficient FREGG operative. He loved his job, even when he had to leave everything behind for his own safety. On his last assignment, he was forced to work covertly with the sexy bold sleuth. Sémya’s beauty and intellect enthralled him, but his passion and growing love for her also changed him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to finally win her trust and keep her safe, causing him to unleash events that would shape the rest of their lives.

EXCERPT

Sémya Louise Slotin was staring at Josh Heinz talking on his mobile and sighed for the third time. Once again, he was keeping her in the dark and she hadn’t felt this helpless in years. No, it wasn’t even that. She was desperate and she hadn’t felt like this in a long time. That helpless desperation that took her over each time she knew she couldn’t control a situation.

The first time she felt this way was after her birth mother, Corinne Durante, told her that she was dying. Her mom had always been honest with her, but at eight when you learnt that your only parent was going to die of AIDS, a then relatively unknown illness, wouldn’t you become desperate too? Then there was the time when her adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, was accused of the murder of her creep of a husband, Martin Demeure. She knew that her mother was innocent but she was just fifteen and no one listened to a fifteen-year ago teenager; even if her IQ was three times higher than average. For both of these events she had an anchor, her safe harbour, her Russian princess, her Polliannah.

So it was smooth sailing for a while until one night her anchor called her. She was scared and for the first time, Polliannah was the one who needed her help and support. Sémya dropped everything and took the first flight to Moscow. She had never felt as desperate and helpless as she was that day. She was only twenty-two, but she needed to be strong for them both. They packed up everything and left Europe for new horizons, new adventures, new encounters and new mysteries to solve. That was what Sémya had been known for, solving mysteries. And when she wasn’t sleuthing, they kept each other safe from bad men, wrong men, and stupid men.

It was just the two of them until Josh Heinz came into their lives three and a half years ago. After the Hawaii fiasco, which she scarcely remembered, Sémya and Polliannah went back to Europe; with Josh. They moved to London; where Josh was. They settled in Camden Town; across the street from Josh. There, Sémya had spent nearly every night… with Josh. Josh, Josh, Josh… the handsome and sexy Josh Heinz. The secretive and mysterious Josh Heinz. The guitarist with a suave voice Josh Heinz. Josh, Josh, Josh… Josh, who stated that he loved her. Josh, who said that he wanted to protect her. She sighed for the fourth time and headed to the closest kiosk.

This time she failed her. After eight years of taking care of each other, of dodging every bullet in the name of love, friendship and family, she failed Polliannah. They received the scariest call from her, she was crying. Her new boyfriend John had been killed and she thought that she was next. So Sémya felt helpless and desperate again. She lost control of the situation, control of their lives. She was angry. Anger usually followed. She and Polli lived a quiet life in London. Who would want to harm them? One thing for sure, Josh knew and as usual, he wasn’t talking. But they would see about that.

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

I’m over 30.

I was born in Quebec City, Canada.

I grew up in France and in Gabon.

I speak English & French fluently.

Pizza is my favorite dish.

Black Forest Cake is my favorite dessert.

I met Michael Jackson when I was eleven.

I loathe vodka but love gin, wine and tequila.

I’m obsessed with Robbie Williams and Michael Fassbender.

I call Toronto my home.

I love reading.

I love dancing.

I love watching exciting TV shows.

I love my life… most days.

I’m a major goof.

I can’t stand intolerance.

I’m curious, cheeky and oh so opinionated!

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Excerpt and giveaway for Tessa’s Temptation

Genre: Romance

What happens when the siren becomes the tempted? TessasTemptation

College student Tess Burke is on the verge of eviction. Her life changed when her dad was in a bad car accident. He’s been in the hospital for months and making little progress. Desperation is setting in. They’re about to lose everything.

Successful architect Chase Carlisle has made a name for himself among the rich and famous. His work keeps him busy, leaving little time for a social life. When an old family friend contacts him and asks him to care for his vibrant, sassy daughter, Chase feels obligated to take her in; Patrick Burke had helped him when he was a troubled teenager, heading down a path of destruction. If not for Pat, he would have never become the man he is today.

The wild child turns Chase’s world upside down, tempting him in ways he can’t resist. The sexy younger woman shows him what he’s been missing the past few years. Their attraction is obvious from the beginning despite Chase’s apprehension to getting involved with Pat’s daughter. Tess wears him down but gets caught in her own trap when she becomes the object of his deepest, darkest desires.

Contains adult content and graphic sex

 Buy Links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks
~Excerpt~  

“I wanted to talk about last night.”“What about it?” Tess turned to look at him, her auburn locks blowing in the light breeze that danced through the porch.

“Tessa, about that kiss…” Chase stared out at the property. “I’m sending all these mixed vibes. I’m never this indecisive.” He was used to taking what he wanted and worrying about consequences later. With her, everything was different. She threw him off balance and made him think about his every move.

“Don’t worry about it. We both know we’re attracted to one another. It happened and it’s not a big deal.”

“It isn’t?” When had she become so mature? Why wasn’t she trying to convince him that they should be together?

“Is that what you wanted to tell me?”

“Not really but if you’re okay with it…” He shook his head; the heat of her breath had lingered on his lips for hours after that kiss. Every time he closed his eyes he felt her sigh against his mouth. “I can’t forget about it. I know I told you we couldn’t be together but none of my reasons make sense anymore. The more time I spend with you the more I want you.”

“Are you saying you want to be with me?”The look of vulnerability in her eyes scared him. She put on a good act when it came to being tough but he knew the truth. There was a sweetness; an innocence about her. One that told him she was still a girl; still on the verge of becoming a woman – who needed to be loved, respected and desired. God help him, but he wanted to be the man to show her all of that, and give her the world.

“I want to back away from you; I don’t want to let you in.” How much longer could he fight her? Fight these baser instincts?

“Then go.” The certainty in her eyes gave him clarity. This was her last attempt where he was concerned.

“I can’t, Tessa. Your pull is too strong.” He lowered his mouth to hers, focusing on those forbidden lips. The devil did exist. She stood in front of him as the flirtatious redhead who now consumed his mind, body and soul. “I can’t resist your temptation anymore.”

“Then don’t.”

“I’m not sure I’m the right man for you.”

“Why can’t you let me decide for myself?” She let out a frustrated breath. “I’ve been making choices about my life for a long time. I don’t need you to do what you think is best for me. That’s not helping either one of us. All you’re doing is making both of us miss out on something wonderful.”

He admired her spirit. That vibrant spirit and uninhibited determination. “I know you’re capable of making your own choices.” He kissed a path to her ear. “You’re capable of so many things. I want to be the man who helps you realize all of your dreams.” He moved his mouth along her jaw and back to her lips. “I can’t fight this anymore. I won’t.”

“It’s about time.” She kissed him, sweeping her tongue inside his mouth. “We’ve been doing nothing but wasting time,” she said when she finally stopped for a breath.

“No, we haven’t.” He took her face between his hands. “We have all the time in the world. We can take everything slow. I want you Tessa, but after our explosive chemistry in the study, I think moderation is in order.”

“Would you be this controlled with anyone other than me?”

“No.” That was the truth. Patience was not a virtue in his world.

“Then why?”

“Because I care about you. I don’t want to screw this up.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t be so surprised. I’ve grown quite fond of you.” He kissed her softly. “I want to do this right for a change.”

“You don’t need to be so careful with me.”

“I do. Trust me.” He stroked her soft cheek. “Why don’t you get some breakfast while I shower?”

“I could shower with you…” She grinned provocatively. “That might be fun.”

“Don’t tempt me.” He pressed his lips to her forehead. “When you’re ready we’ll go get those pumpkins, maybe visit your dad and then stop somewhere for a late lunch. How does that sound?”

“Like a date?” She trailed her finger down his chest to his waistband. “I’d love to.”

“Perfect.” He kissed her one more before pulling away. At this rate they’d never leave the porch. “I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Are you sure?” She gripped his biceps, pulling him back to her. “We could stay here and just… get to know one another.”

Good God, but she was a cheeky addiction!

“I love your fearlessness but we’ll stick with my plan.” He tapped the tip of her nose with his finger. “We’ll leave in an hour.”

“Fine,” she huffed as she walked over to the porch swing. “I’ll be ready.”

He laughed as he made his way into the house, dropping his mug off in the sink before hurrying up the back staircase, taking two steps at a time. The faster he showered, the sooner they could be together. Tessa was right, he had been wasting time, but no more. Today was a new day, full of so many possibilities.

He stripped out of his pajama bottoms and t-shirt while he waited for the water to heat up in the large, master shower. Thoughts of her wet, soapy and naked with him in the stall did nothing for his persistent erection. He stepped into the shower and let the hot water flow over his tense muscles. The multiple shower heads drenched his skin as the heavy steam filled the room. He closed his eyes and let his mind disengage, but then the stall door opened.

~About the Author~ 

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

She loves connecting with readers. You can find her here…

Author Links:  Facebook   Twitter    Website

~Giveaway~

Ella is giving away a $5 Starbucks GC and one swag pack. 
 
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.
 
 

A Gentleman Always Finds Out



Genre: Historical Erotic Romance One of the oldest palace in down town Dubrovnik

Ruined and jilted, Mariah Harris, with her cousin, plots against the rogue who dared to insult her and her family. What she doesn’t expect is for their plan to lead them astray…on the wrong side of the law.

Julian Kingsley is ready to give up working for the crown, only he’s given one last mission. He agrees, but gets more than he bargains for. When a dalliance with a mysterious woman suddenly reveals her connections to his case, he’s honor bound to turn her in, but his heart can’t seem to give her up.

~Excerpt~

May 15, 1816

London, England

“Edwina Mosley, you are out of your ever-loving mind! We look like…You are dressed as a strumpet and well…I am in breeches. I look far too feminine to be a man!” Mariah Harris scowled and clenched her fists at her sides. This whole plot was idiotic, and if they were not thrown in Newgate, they would certainly end up in Bedlam.

“Yes, of course, dear. I thought you understood our plan from the beginning. It is a sound one, cousin. Once I stop the messenger and beg his assistance, you will sneak out of those bushes and snatch his bag,” Edwina retorted with a drawl. “My sources have informed me that he passes through here every night at the same time. So, we shall not be waiting long.”

How can she be so sure? Mariah gritted her teeth and curled her toes in irritation. “If there was ever a moment I regret, it was telling you about this mess with Crispin. I only meant to find out where he is staying in London and who with. My poor father is convinced he will come back, but if he does, it will only be for food and shelter.” Nothing more. He had successfully made Mariah the largest fool in all of Kent. That blasted scoundrel!

“Mariah, I am positive this plan will work. Once the satchel is in our possession, we will rifle through for anything addressed to Crispin. From there, you will be free to humiliate the stupid sod and carry on with your life. Now, stop being a ninny and go hide. Hurry! I think I hear a horse.”

Mariah wandered into the shrubbery, hoping she did not step on an adder, or even worse, walk through a spider’s web. Good heavens, if papa ever found out I dressed in a man’s riding outfit, he would send me away to a nunnery for certain.

A few moments passed before the sound of a galloping horse approached. The beast slowed his gait by trotting as he grew closer, coming to a halt where Edwina stood next to a wagon.

She pleaded in a tone befitting a damsel in distress, “Please, sir. I am in need of assistance. I implore you. I should have been home hours ago, but the cart…”

“Say no more, miss. I will see what I can do.” the messenger stated plainly. “Should I dare ask how long you have been stranded for?”

“Only for an hour, sir. I am on my way to London and thought to stop in Maidstone for the night.”

When Mariah popped her head out, she spotted the young man climbing down from his mount. Off in the distance, a rickety cart approached, the driver swaying in his seat. Now, we are were done for. Before they had left her shop, Edwina had managed to convince her that this road was not much travelled on after dark. Only the gent delivering messages from the militia in the north would be expected. What were the odds—on this particular night—that another traveler would pass through?

Sliding the sack off his shoulder, the messenger crouched down by the rear wheel of the pony wagon she and her cousin had sabotaged.

Not long after, Mariah heard the trundling of the other cart squeal until it came to a stop. A middle-aged man stumbled out, falling flat on his face. Too foxed to drive successfully, he clearly would not pose a problem to the scenario.

Now is my chance. Mariah leapt out of the bushes and, while everyone was too distracted in aiding the sotted fool, she grabbed the bag before running back to her hiding spot. Only this time, she did not stop. She ran like the devil until she found the meadow in which she had left her own clothing and horse.

Heart racing, she dropped the cap her long hair had been tucked into, kicked off her shoes, and quickly stripped out of the breeches and loose-fitting shirt she wore. Then, she slipped on her cream-colored riding gown and strapped the satchel to the mare, covering it with the blanket she had used to conceal her dress while in disguise.

She wasted no time taking her place in the saddle. Wrapping her cape around her shoulders, she shifted the side so that it hid the blanket as well before riding back to the inn where she planned on meeting with Edwina. It would be a miracle if they were not caught after this ludicrous theft.

The only visual she retained during the trip was the gallows, and it was that image which kept her from slowing her pace. She had never committed a crime before, and this would take the bucket as far as mischief went. Never in all her twenty-one years had she stooped so low. It was unprecedented, outlandish, and completely unforgivable.

Leave it to the man she had foolishly thought she was in love with. No one could drive her to the brink of madness like Crispen. His words meant nothing. In hindsight, his pledge of love and fidelity was meaningless. His ploy to get under her skirts had worked, and now she was ruined.

In return, Mariah would ruin him. And I cannot wait to see his face when he is discovered.

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~About the Author~
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Layna discovered her love of reading at an early age. When she isn’t devouring salacious romance novels or writing, she enjoys losing herself in researching ancient history and mythology, weaponry, and hiking. She lives in Northern Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.

Layna is a member of the Romance Writers of America, creator of the Romance Author at Large blog, and is a monthly contributor at 69 Shades of Smut. For updates on her upcoming releases, or to leave her a comment, you can find at:

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